Morocco has been known for its pottery for centuries; the craft entered its golden age with the introduction of thousands of skilled Andalusian potters to Fes in the ninth century. Often intensely patterned, the motifs reflect the region's Spanish, Moorish, and tribal influences. The process of making Fassi (from Fes) ceramics begins with clay dug from the nearby hillsides. The clay is soaked for several days in a water bath to moisten it completely and then kneaded by foot into a smooth, pliable texture. Vessels are thrown by skilled craftspeople using kick wheels and fired in large kilns fueled with olive pits. The pits are an effective, eco-friendly alternative to other sources of fuel, and also make use of a resource provided by the country's extensive olive oil production. The serving bowl designs are pulled from the venerable library of original city patterns, and all decoration is painstakingly painted by hand with fine horsehair brushes.
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